Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., the darling of the new “peace movement,” has introduced a resolution calling for the U.S. to work with the United Nations rather than take on Iraq in the war on terrorism.
Since she was first elected to the California Assembly more than a decade ago, I have chronicled Lee’s extremist views and ties. It’s time for a refresher course.
Lee was the lone vote in the House of Representatives opposing any military action in response to terrorism in the U.S. immediately after the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. But, before that, she had a long history of associations with Communist Party and extremist groups and individuals.
Lee is a long-time friend of Communist Party militant Angela Davis and succeeded another radical from the city of Oakland, Rep. Ron “Red” Dellums.
Lee paid her establishment political dues – first as an aide to Dellums and later as a California assemblywoman and state senator. However, less known is Lee’s service on the national coordinating committee of the “Committees of Correspondence,” an organization that splintered from the Communist Party USA in 1991. Davis, the three-time Communist Party candidate for vice president of the United States, served by her side.
Earlier, while working with Dellums, she joined the U.S.-Grenada Friendship Society, a front group supporting the communist dictatorship of Maurice Bishop, a close ally of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. Just months before the U.S. invasion that toppled Bishop in 1983, Lee and Dellums visited the island on official business of the House Armed Services Committee to gauge the military threat posed to the United States by an international airport being built there by Cubans. According to documents captured by U.S. military forces in Grenada, Lee personally presented Bishop’s Politburo with a draft of Dellums’ report before it was presented to his congressional committee.
Despite revelations about this in 1993, Dellums went on to become chairman of the committee so vital to national security. Lee went on to become a member of the California Legislature.
She threatened to hit me with a defamation lawsuit for publishing this information during her first term as a California assemblywoman. She dropped the threat after being challenged to provide any evidence that the charges were not true.
The minutes of a Politburo meeting held in 1982 say Lee actually encouraged the communist government to make a revision in the report to minimize the military significance of the Grenada airport.
Less than a year later, the captured documents reveal, Lee helped coordinate a tour of the West Coast for Ian Jacobs, Grenada’s deputy U.N. ambassador, as part of a propaganda offensive “to counterattack President Reagan’s verbal attack on Grenada.” Once again, Angela Davis, the frequent Communist Party presidential and vice presidential candidate, was by her side.
President Reagan later ordered an invasion of the island when U.S. medical students were taken hostage by the Cuban-backed regime. When U.S. Marines landed, they were met with armed resistance, not from local forces, but from Cuban infantry regulars.
Lee’s friendly relations with Cuba date back even further. In 1979, while on Dellums’ staff, she traveled to Havana to attend a conference of “non-aligned nations,” a Cold War euphemism for countries aligned with the Soviet Union. She attended the conference not as an employee of the federal government, which she was, but rather claiming to be a journalist for the alternative San Francisco paper, the Sun-Reporter.
The San Francisco paper Lee represented in Cuba was edited at the time by the late Carlton Goodlett. On April 22, 1970, Goodlett received the Lenin Peace Prize in Moscow. It was quite an affair – attended by Leonid Brezhnev and other party notables. The date marked Lenin’s 100th birthday. Until 1956, the Lenin Prize was called “the Stalin Stipend.” The name was changed only after Nikita Khruschev denounced mass murderer Josef Stalin at the 20th Party Congress in Moscow. It was not just an honorary award for promoting the cause of world communism and Soviet hegemony. The prize was established in 1928 as the socialist rival to the Nobel Prize and paid its recipients amounts ranging from 50,000 to 100,000 rubles.
When Goodlett returned with his cash, he proceeded to file as a candidate for governor of California in that year’s election. He also bankrolled the first big election bids of former California Assembly Speaker Willie Brown and Dellums.
Lee was sworn into the House of Representatives by a smiling Speaker Newt Gingrich in 1998. She glibly took her oath to defend and uphold the Constitution, and she faced only token opposition in her successful bids for her first two full terms in the House.
The votes in the House and Senate in September 2001 were remarkable for their gravity, urgency and absence of opposition or even debate. Discussions took a mere five hours, and the final vote was 420 to 1, with Lee the only dissenter.
And now, as Paul Harvey would say, you know the rest of the story.